MP: Politicians interfered in DBKL’s hygiene checks


THERE should not be any form of interference from politicians in the operations of local authorities, said Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng.

Lim said he had received information from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) senior officers about politicians interfering in food safety and hygiene operations when they carried out spot checks on eateries.

“The DBKL officers told me that on many occasions when a restaurant was closed for flouting cleanliness requirements, they would get a call from certain politicians ordering them to retract the closure notice.

“The officers felt that the outlet owner must have called the politicians to plead for leniency,” he said.

Lim said that during his tenure as Segambut MP, he also regularly received complaints of political interference in local authorities’ affairs.

“These politicians were merely working to achieve their own ends and not for the welfare of the community,’’ he said.

This, he noted, had undermined the integrity of the council officers as well as the credibility of their operations.

“Which is why, on my part, I will advise my colleagues in Kuala Lumpur not to interfere in council affairs,’’ he said.

Lim advised city folk who found themselves in dirty eateries to snap photos as evidence and post it on social media, tagging DBKL.

“Name them and shame them,’’ he said.

He added that as consumers they should “boycott” food outlets that were not only dirty but had cockroaches and rats scurrying about.

“The power is in the consumers’ hands to reject dirty eateries as it is time for them to buck up,’’ he said.

On Monday, DBKL revoked the licence of Raj’s Banana Leaf Restaurant in Bangsar, after a 30-second video clip showing the restaurant’s poor food handling went viral on social media.

It showed workers squatting at the back of the restaurant scrubbing and rinsing plates in what appeared to be a puddle of muddy water in a pothole next to a drain.

DBKL Health and Environment Department director Dr Noor Akma Shabudin said it was the first time the local authority decided to revoke the licence of a restaurant.

The move was to put fear in the hearts of restaurant proprietors so that they would be held accountable for the actions of their employees.

StarMetro has also embarked on Metro Hygiene Campaign in which we urge readers to alert us on dirty restaurants and we, on our part, will alert the authorities to act against these irresponsible operators.

Do not forward old pictures and videos of dirty eateries taken several months ago or those involving restaurants in other countries.

Send to us only fresh incidents of dirty eateries.

We will highlight eateries that are dirty and messy, and those who cut up food ingredients at back lanes or beside drains.

In your email, include your name, contact number, the restaurant’s name and its full address before sending it to metro@thestar.com.my, and, yes, we keep your information confidential.